Study Suggests Sick Leave Law Helps Reduce COVID Spread
The research in Health Affairs examined whether emergency sick-leave provisions provided in a coronavirus relief bill cut the number of reported new COVID-19 cases. News outlets also look at treatment options for the virus.
US Emergency Sick Leave Act Tied To Reduced COVID-19 Cases
The emergency sick leave provision of the March 18 bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) appears to have reduced the spread of the virus. A Health Affairs study yesterday found that states where workers could get up to 2 weeks of paid sick leave showed 417 fewer confirmed cases per day, or an average of 1 prevented case per day per 1,300 workers. The lack of universal access to paid sick leave in the United States makes it an outlier among nations in Europe and the Americas. Twenty-seven percent of all US workers and more than half of food and accommodation industry workers are ineligible for paid sick leave. The emergency sick leave provision of the FFCRA is estimated to provide paid sick leave benefits to roughly half of the US workforce. (10/16)
What Are The Treatment Options For COVID-19?
What are the treatment options for COVID-19? There are several, and which one is best depends on how sick someone is. For example, steroids such as dexamethasone can lower the risk of dying for severely ill patients. But they may do the opposite for those who are only mildly ill. (10/20)
Can Ordinary COVID Patients Get The Trump Treatment? It’s OK To Ask
When Terry Mutter woke up with a headache and sore muscles on a recent Wednesday, the competitive weightlifter chalked it up to a hard workout. By that evening, though, he had a fever of 101 degrees and was clearly ill. “I felt like I had been hit by a truck,” recalled Mutter, who lives near Seattle. The next day he was diagnosed with COVID-19. By Saturday, the 58-year-old was enrolled in a clinical trial for the same antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump claimed was responsible for his coronavirus “cure.” (Aleccia, 10/20)
Older COVID Patients Battle ‘Brain Fog,’ Weakness And Emotional Turmoil
“Lord, give me back my memory.” For months, as Marilyn Walters has struggled to recover from COVID-19, she has repeated this prayer day and night. Like other older adults who’ve become critically ill from the coronavirus, Walters, 65, describes what she calls “brain fog” — difficulty putting thoughts together, problems with concentration, the inability to remember what happened a short time before. (Graham, 10/20)
Texas Woman Died Of Coronavirus 'On The Jetway' On Flight From Arizona
A Texas woman in her 30s died of Covid-19 while flying home from Arizona this summer, officials said Monday. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that the woman died in July, but that officials just learned of her official cause of death. ... The woman, who was from the Dallas suburb of Garland, had underlying health conditions, according to a Dallas County news release. Additional information about her was not immediately available. (Stelloh, 10/19)
In other public health news —
The New York Times:
Doctors May Have Found Secretive New Organs In The Center Of Your Head
After millenniums of careful slicing and dicing, it might seem as though scientists have figured out human anatomy. A few dozen organs, a couple hundred bones and connective tissue to tie it all together. But despite centuries of scrutiny, the body is still capable of surprising scientists. A team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered what may be a set of previously unidentified organs: a pair of large salivary glands, lurking in the nook where the nasal cavity meets the throat. If the findings are confirmed, this hidden wellspring of spit could mark the first identification of its kind in about three centuries. (Wu, 10/19)
Study: Plastic Baby Bottles Shed Microplastics When Heated. Should You Worry?
Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic, often too small for the eye to see. They're created as plastic degrades. And they're everywhere. They're in oceans, thanks to plastic garbage. They're in fish. They find their way into the water we drink in various ways, from surface runoff and wastewater effluent to particles deposited from the atmosphere. And they're released in huge quantities from plastic baby bottles when they're used to prepare formula according to standard guidelines, a new study in the journal Nature Food finds. (Godoy, 10/19)
And in celebrity news —
Jeff Bridges Diagnosed With Lymphoma: 'The Prognosis Is Good'
Jeff Bridges is sharing a health update. The Oscar winner revealed on Twitter Monday that he's been diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, according to Mayo Clinic." As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light," wrote Bridges, referencing his 1998 cult classic "The Big Lebowski." "Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good." (Henderson, 10/19)